Can You Plant Green Potatoes?

By Paul Smart •  Updated: 01/11/22 •  5 min read

Can You Plant Green Potatoes? Potatoes are one of the most widely grown crops in the world and form part of the diet in many different cuisines. This means that you’ll often have potatoes lying around in your kitchen. If they have been exposed to light they will begin to turn green and become poisonous. However, can they still be used in the garden to grow new potatoes?

If you plant green potatoes in the garden they will produce a crop irrespective of whether the potatoes are from the local store or certified seed potatoes purchased from the local garden centre. The main risk of using store-bought is they have the potential to introduce diseases into your garden.

Certified seed potatoes cost more but they have been tested and certified for a range of diseases which means the probability of you having problems in your own garden is minimal.

Do You Need To Plant The Potatoes Whole Or Can You Cut Them In Half?

The potato tubers can be cut in half and they will still sprout and produce a reasonable crop. A trial that we conducted in our own garden shows that it is actually beneficial in some cases to cutting the potato in half in terms of the yield that you can get. To read more about this click here.

When Is The Ideal Time To Plant Potatoes?

Potatoes are a member of the Solanaceae family which includes tomatoes, eggplants, and Peppers. All of these plants are sensitive to frost and need to be grown for a period of the year that in relatively warm conditions. 

The ideal time to plant the potatoes is around 2 to 4 weeks prior to the last frost. This timing is considered ideal because it will take approximately 2 to 4 weeks for the sprouts of the potatoes to appear above the ground which means that is about as early as you can plant them without getting frost damage. The earlier you plant potatoes the quicker that they will produce a harvest for you.

When Is The Right Time To Harvest The Potatoes?

The ideal time to harvest the potato is approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the plant has flowered which will typically occur in June in the northern hemisphere if you have planted them in mid spring. However, when harvesting potatoes it is best to harvest just a single plant to see whether there is a reasonable crop there. If not leave the potatoes longer.

Once the foliage has died back completely the potatoes below the ground will not get any larger and should be harvested and stored for use in the winter.

How Much Will A Single Seed Potato Produce

The amount that a single seed potato will produce is dependent upon whether it is planted in a grow bag or into the garden. Additionally, the amount that you harvest will also be affected by how early you harvest. The longer the potatoes are left in the ground the higher the yield.

However, as a general guide, you can typically expect to get approximately 1 lb (500g) of potatoes from a seed potato grown in a bag and approximately 4lb (2 kg) of potatoes per seed potato plant in the garden.

Should You Earth Up Potatoes?

Earthing up potatoes is a common technique that is used when growing potatoes which basically means that the surrounding soil is mounded up around the potato plants as they grow to cover all but the top of the stems

This process is highly recommended because it has two important functions. The first is that it prevents light from hitting the potatoes and turning them green. The second benefit of earthing up is that it will increase the yield of the potatoes substantially as it will encourage a greater number of tubers is to be produced from the stems that are buried below the soil. To read more about this click here.

How To Grow Potatoes

As mentioned above potatoes are a really easy crop to grow and is one that I would highly recommend for even the most inexperienced gardeners as they require very little maintenance.

To grow potatoes start by digging a trench approximately 1 ft deep. At the base of the trench put compost before placing the seed potatoes approximately 1 ft apart and covering them over with soil. 

Once the tubers are in the ground wait until the foliage reaches a height of approximately 1 ft above the ground before mounding up soil around the plant. The mounding process may need to be done a couple of times throughout the season.

If you plant in mid-spring you can expect to be harvested potatoes around midsummer. when the plant begins to flower. During this period it is best to harvest what you need when you need it rather than digging up the entire crop as it will increase in size over time.

However, once the foliage has died back the yield will not get any larger and the crop should be dug up.  

To store potatoes they should ideally be placed in I cardboard box in a dark well-ventilated area that is cool. In these conditions, the potatoes can be stored for up to 6 to 9 months.  

I hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the section below.

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Paul Smart